Interactive Median Home Price

Click to view the Interactive Map with Values - 2018

Cost of Housing

Click Link for the Interactive Map

Higher cost housing is taller and lighter.


live, work, and buy a house in an exciting fast growing metro.

Cash out and move to a lower cost area later.

A Vital Midwest

John Austin at the Michigan Economic Center is a long time commentator on Midwest economic issues, going back to at least his 2006 Brookings Institute report “The Vital Center .”
Austin is back with a new report, which could perhaps be seen as an update of sorts, called “A Vital Midwest: The Path to a New Prosperity,” released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Today the Midwest is neither an economic monolith nor, despite lingering popular misconceptions, a “Rust Belt.” Many Midwest communities, large and small, have successfully evolved from their industrial and farming roots and are winning in today’s globalized, tech-based, and knowledge-driven economy. Most of the region’s major metros—from the Twin Cities in the west to Indianapolis at the nation’s crossroads to Pittsburgh in the east—are diverse, thriving hothouses of knowledge work.

Click over to read the whole thing.

The post The Vital Midwest appeared first on Aaron M. Renn.


Cost of Living Mostly About Housing

The variance in cost of living is mostly about housing costs.

Click to read the article


Moving to a Different State

Get Rich, Then Move

Get Rich, Then Move. Why high cost of living is a dumb excuse.

A workable strategy is to move to a high income high cost city. Get that good job and buy a home. Then ride the rapid appreciation of that home up and up.  And then move to a lower cost less hassle city where you can buy a nice home with the appreciation you earned in the high cost city.

A number of my friends were military officers who lived and worked in Washington DC, and were the beneficiaries of the rapid rise in housing value.  When they retired to Florida they had a large nest egg.  My own experience was owning a home in the southern suburbs of Chicago, where home appreciation was much less.

Click to read the article:


Get Rich

Then Move


The Cities Americans Want to Flee, and Where They Want to Go

The Cities Americans Want to Flee, and Where They Want to Go


Put Me In, Coach: Midwest Cities on the Rise

Another interesting article by Aaron M. Wren

These 10 cities are ready for the big time. They just need to act like it.

America has many cities that are booming and others that are in severe distress. These two groups get the most public attention.

But what about cities between those two extremes — cities that are performing above average economically and demographically but not yet at the superstar level?

Hovering between the country’s 60 or so superstar boomtowns and approximately 50 stagnating metro areas is a large number of cities in the middle. They are very diverse and cannot be lumped together in a single group. In this number is a subgroup of cities located in the Midwest that perform above the U.S. average on metrics including population growth, job growth, GDP per capita and college-degree attainment. To use a baseball metaphor, these cities are successful AAA players looking for a way to move up to the major leagues. They are:

  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Fargo, North Dakota
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Kansas City, Missouri-Kansas
  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Click to read the article:


Put Me In, 
Midwest Cities 
on the Rise

Scaling Superstar Cities

Scaling Superstar Cities

By: Aaron M. Renn
Aaron's latest Manhattan Institute report is now available. 

"It’s called “Scaling Up: How Superstar Cities Can Grow to New Heights” and it examines the well-known problem of housing costs in coastal superstar cities.




Aaron M. Renn


Affordable Homes in Lower Cost Metro's

Typical of the great homes for sale in Peoria at an affordable price 


1154 Square Feet

PEORIA, IL  61604 
MLS #1105910

More about Peoria:

Interesting article in Forbes.  Chicago is an expensive place to live. It is high time to think about moving your business and home to Peoria.

Typical morning commute here is 10 or 15 minutes. Housing is much more affordable. You can keep your boat in the lake for a fraction of the cost in Chicago. And you can be in the beautiful boondocks along the Illinois River in minutes.


Move to Peoria, Illinois


Click on the Following:

A typical home just down the street from me, listed for $145,000 on



Peoria 125,000

Chicago 286,000

Los Angelos 588,000

My home overlooking downtown Peoria

Ruyle Hullinger home
423 High Street, Peoria, Illinois
Located in the High Wine District across from Giant Oak Park, this Colonial Revival home was built around the turn of the century. On the ridge of the Illinois River, it overlooks downtown Peoria and the University of Illinois Medical Campus.

In the 1890's, a railroad agent and the treasurer of a local industry lived in the house. Later, the home was a boarding house and a halfway house for some years. It is reputed to be occupied by a ghost. The home was restored near its 100 year anniversary by Jack and Cathy Empson. Renovation was continued by the current owners, Beth Ruyle and Craig Hullinger in 2006.

The existing, original slate roof is moderately pitched and hipped, with a ridge. Classic one story fluted columns support the full length porch. Brick walls are edged with quoins. The interior boasts extensive stained woodwork and marble floors.


High Street

Source: http://www.historicpeoria.com/entry.php?eid=214&catid=1&cid=1

Nestled between Peoria's picturesque West Bluff and energetic Main Street, High Street offers its residents and visitors a vibrant and elegant slice of historical significance. From the mammoth Easton house (now Converse Marketing) gracing the entrance to the renovated Greenhut mansion (now Bobbitt's Historical Quarters) at the foot, the magic of High Street has survived the years and resonates today.

Once dubbed "High Wine Avenue," High Street housed many of the original Peoria whiskey barons, including Joseph Greenhut, president and founder of The Distillers and Cattle Feeders Company. In the mid-1880's, an era before income tax, fortunes were spent on homes, massive legacies that still stand today. The expanse of Peoria's whisky riches is showcased in the diverse and ornate architecture of High Street. During this golden age of Peoria history, the city established itself as the distillery capital of the world; High Street housed the city's exclusive nouveau riche, the properties offering both seclusion and breathtaking views. Each owner hired the services of individual architects, and thus High Street boasts styles ranging from Georgian and Gothic Revival, to Queen Anne and Flemish Revival. This combination of porticos, cupolas, latticework, leaded windows, and arches creates an eclectic presence unique to High Street.
Today High Street is home to artists, writers, politicians and families interested in living a piece of history. Many of the mansions have been restructured into apartments, and few single-family houses remain. A restoration revival swept the street in the late 1980's and early 1990's when owners began working with the city to uphold historical standards in the renovations. On any summer day, visitors stroll the street, taking in the majestic homes and lush landscaping. Trolleys and tour buses creep along while tourists snap photos. Children and lovers alike hide within the limbs of the ancient oak tree at Giant Oak Park. Once the most exclusive residential street in Peoria, High Street continues to give citizens a taste of Peoria's past.
Our former High Street Home http://zerlaproperties.com/


There are some incredible values in Peoria, Illinois. If you are in a high cost real estate area, consider moving to our great city overlooking the Illinois River. Our median home cost is about $125,000. Leave your high cost area, and start a business or retire to Peoria.Click on the Following:

A typical home just down the street from me, listed for $149,000 on



Peoria 125,000

Chicago 286,000

Los Angelos 588,000


Move to Peoria

“Just outside Chicago, there’s a place called Illinois.”

Move your business and home to downstate“Just outside Chicago, there’s a place called Illinois.” The State of Illinois developed this catchy slogan for it’s tourism marketing program to encourage Chicago-area residents to visit the Illinois south and west of Chicago, instead of visiting Wisconsin and Michigan.

The strategy aimed to keep tourism and the dollars it generates in Illinois.The strategy need not stop at tourism, though. Communities in downstate Illinois should employ a similar strategy when attracting businesses and economic development. Outside of the Chicago metropolitan area, the cost of home ownership and renting is tremendously cheaper. The cost of doing business is also much less. Congestion, often cited as a quality-of-life issue, is virtually non-existent: “rush hour” in smaller communities is often the “rush minute”.

Demographic trends indicate that the problem is only going to get worse in Northeast Illinois. Of Illinois’ population of 12 million people, 8 million citizens live in or around Chicago. By 2030, Illinois is projected to grow over 15%, but of the 2 million more people living here, most will be living in or near metro Chicago.While growth is encouraging, it also comes with associated costs. Both Chicago and Illinois would be better off if some of the projected growth occurred in other Illinois communities.

The addition of two million more people to the Chicago area will create more traffic congestion and air pollution. This will require increased capital expenditure at the federal, state and local levels as the transportation, protective and educational infrastructures swell to accommodate this growth. The increase in taxes need to manage this growth is rarely appreciated by citizens.

Illinois communities outside of Chicagoland could accommodate and welcome this growth. Many communities are at best experiencing moderate growth, while many more are losing population. These smaller communities often have housing stock, roads, schools, and other infrastructure that have capacity sufficient to the task.This potential is illustrated by comparing two large metropolitan areas in Illinois.

The moderately-growing Peoria metropolitan area is the second largest metro area in Illinois. However, as the following table demonstrates, there are significant advantages to locating or relocating “downstate”:Chicago / PeoriaMedian Home Price[1]$ 274,700 / $ 114,900Average Commute Time (2000)[2]35 minutes / 20 minutes“Cost of Doing Business” Rank[3]90th / 47thCost of Living Index Composite[4]103.9 / 96.9Student-Teacher Ratio[5]16.40 / 14.40Relocating Businesses and Employees DownstateMore and more people are controlling their own job location.

The Internet permits more people to work remotely. Telecommuting allows mobile professionals to flee large, congested metro areas and work and live in a pleasant environment. Free lance writers, advertising executives, entrepreneurs, artists, computer experts and even salespeople are typical of employees who often have control of their work location. Jack Manahan is a perfect example. Manahan left the Chicago suburbs for Peoria. As a home-based computer consultant to government, he simply drives 10 minutes to the airport when he needs to visit a client. "I saved half the cost of my auto insurance and got a much nicer home in Peoria when I left Chicago. And the rush hour is much less than in Chicago. Peoria is a pleasant place to live and work, without the hassle of a really big city. "Long gone is the requirement for manufacturers, agencies, sales forces and consulting companies to be located in a large metropolitan area. In fact, the cost of doing so might well outweigh the benefits. The same connectivity that permits telecommuting allows business leaders the flexibility to move their entire company to smaller, more attractive communities where both the quality of life and the cost of doing business are better. The marketplace is no longer local – it is global and requires little more than a strong technology and transportation infrastructure. This trend is accelerating and will likely continue to be popular, especially as congestion increases.Attracting a Retiree Migration SouthMoving to a downstate community can also be an excellent retirement strategy. Retirees can achieve substantial savings from the sale of their homes.

With Chicago’s real estate market rocketing skyward, retirees can often turn the sale of one home into the purchase of two: A home in a moderately-sized downstate community that offers proximity to family and friends and offers all the amenities of city life, and possibly a second home for the winter months in the Sun Belt. This move is especially appealing to those individuals who grew up downstate but moved to larger metropolitan areas for work reasons.

One budding strategy in attracting retirees is to build housing communities in conjunction with universities and colleges. The housing can be privately developed, with alumni and faculty targeted as purchasers. The partnership is a win-win situation: Alumni bring a love of the institution and serve as natural source of volunteers, donors, event boosters and even students in continuing education. The city gets more homeowners and consumers in the local economy, but does not need to concern itself with these new citizens taking high-paying jobs or additionally taxing the local public school system.

Craig Harlan Hullinger AICP is the Economic Development Director for the City of Peoria. Craig has a BA Degree in Public Administration, a Master s Degree in Environmental Planning. Contact him at (309) 494-8639 or chullinger@ci.peoria.il.us.

Christopher Setti is an Economic Development Specialist with the Economic Development Department of the City of Peoria. Chris has a BA in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Contact him at (309) 494-8618 or csetti@ci.peoria.il.us.

[1] National Association of Realtors: http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/nar_3q05/price.html#table

[2] Arbitron “Average Travel Time to Work Comparison.” www.arbitron.com/outdoor_companies/travel_result.asp

[3] Forbes Magazine, “Best Places for Business and Careers.” May 5, 2005.

[4] ACCRA Cost of Living Index, 2nd Quarter 2005

[5] www.money.cnn.com. “Best Places to Live 2005.”

Moving to a Lower Cost Area

Tired of Commuting hassle of Chicago?  

Starting over? Come to Peoria

According to MSN Real Estate, Peoria is one of the ten best places for starting over; i.e., Peoria is one of “10 midsize to large cities with the best job prospects and most affordable mortgage payments.” The list is:
  1. Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
  2. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
  3. Kalamazoo-Portage, Mich.
  4. Rochester, N.Y.
  5. Oklahoma City
  6. Peoria, Ill.
  7. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Ark.
  8. Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.-Bristol, Va.
  9. Columbus, Ohio
  10. Fort Wayne, Ind.
Click to Read the Story:

We owned a fine historic home for sale in Peoria where you can start over. 

Compare the home of President and Michelle Obama with the home formerly owned by Beth Ruyle Hullinger and Craig Hullinger.  

President Obama and his wife reportedly paid $1,650,000 for their Chicago home, while you can buy a home like ours in Peoria for $250,000+-.

Advantage Peoria!!

Move to Peoria, Illinois

Great City - Great Housing Values - Play in Peoria